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Last updated: 15 Apr, 2022  

Lekhi.9.thmb.jpg Those who don't know about Constitution oppose unification of corporations: Lekhi

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SME Times News Bureau | 15 Apr, 2022
Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi on Friday slammed the opposition parties for voicing reservations about the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which was tabled in the Lok Sabha by MoS Home Nityanand Rai on behalf of Home Minister Amit Shah.

During an interaction with IANS, Lekhi, an MP from New Delhi constituency, hit out at the parties opposing the bill.

Here are some excerpts:

Q: Members of the Congress, BSP and RSP had voiced protests against the bill terming it unconstitutional while Nityanand Rai was presenting it...

Lekhi: Only those who don't know about the country's Constitution can talk like that. Parliament has the right to make changes to the law. Also, Delhi is not a state but a Union Territory. This UT is governed by the Vidhan Sabha and Chief Minister hence it is known as National Capital Territory of Delhi, and not state. Only those who don't know the name of Delhi properly can come up with such arguments, and voice protest against the bill. Those who are aware of Delhi know that the legislative power, and the power to bring change in Delhi rests with the Central government and the Parliament.

Q: However, from the legal and constitutional aspect, opposition leaders Manish Tewari, Gaurav Gogoi, NK Premachandran and Ritesh Pandey have opposed this bill in the Lok Sabha, saying it is against federalism, and Parliament does not have the right to make changes in the laws related to the municipal corporations.

A: The nature of the federal structure of India is different. We are not a federal country but a quasi-federal system. We do not have the status of states like the US, but in India, even as the states are separate, the Centre plays the key role. And that is why, India is called a country with a semi-federal system because the role of the Centre is important in keeping the whole country united and integrated in our country.

Q: But even on political grounds, the Opposition leaders are opposing this bill. Ten years ago, when the corporation was being divided into three, the BJP had accused the then Congress government of doing this to weaken the BJP in the municipal corporation. Now, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government is claiming that your party (BJP) is sensing a defeat in the Corporation polls, and that's why this step is being taken to postpone the elections...

A: People having such views must know that the BJP has also sent nine members to the Parliament by winning the polls. The person (Arvind Kejriwal) you are talking about keeps making such statements.

If the Narendra Modi government can remove Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, it also knows how to fix the loopholes in the system in Delhi.

These people (Aam Aadmi Party-led government) have ruined lots of things in Delhi. We (the BJP) won't leave it into the hands of these people. In fact, we will fix the chaos.

No city can run without a municipal corporation. It is very important to fix this in Delhi because primary health care, first aid and sanitation are the responsibility of the corporation.

The Kejriwal government has completely abolished first aid. In the name of Primary Health Centre, spending Rs 50 lakh, he has just put up kiosks so that he can campaign on the walls of municipal corporations without paying any money.

The Kejriwal government should tell that if these municipal corporations were so bad, then why their MLAs used to give money to the corporation to get their boards installed. The truth is that they have spoiled the condition of municipal hospitals, do not pay money and keep creating hurdles due to which the employees had to go on strike several times.

The Delhi government should speak clearly on the Jal Board.

The BJP government is providing drinking water to the homes of the people in Arunachal Pradesh and they (AAP government) are not able to provide water to the houses till Patel Nagar in Delhi.
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